Scuba Diving with Sharks at the Great Blue Hole, Belize

by | Mar 1, 2023 | North America

If you’re an experienced scuba diver looking for a thrill, there’s no better place to visit than the Great Blue Hole in Belize. This world-famous dive site is a giant underwater sinkhole that’s home to an array of fascinating creatures, including sharks, rays, and colorful fish. Here’s what you need to know about diving at the Great Blue Hole.

The Dive

The Great Blue Hole is located off the coast of Belize, near the center of the Lighthouse Reef. It’s a circular sinkhole that’s over 300 meters across and 125 meters deep, with walls that descend straight down into the abyss. The dive starts with a descent to a depth of around 15 meters, where you’ll encounter a wall covered in colorful corals and sponges.

As you descend further, the water becomes darker and the temperature drops. You’ll begin to see the distinct shape of the Great Blue Hole’s walls, and you’ll likely spot several species of sharks, including reef sharks and bull sharks. The sharks are used to divers and typically keep a safe distance, but they’re an impressive sight nonetheless.

As you reach the bottom of the sinkhole, you’ll find yourself in a surreal landscape of limestone formations and ancient stalactites. These structures were once part of a dry cave system that was flooded by rising sea levels thousands of years ago.

The Experience

Diving at the Great Blue Hole is an unforgettable experience. The sinkhole’s unique geology and marine life make it a truly special dive site. The sheer size and depth of the hole are awe-inspiring, and the ancient limestone formations and stalactites are a sight to behold.

But the real highlight of the dive is the marine life. The Great Blue Hole is home to an array of species, including sharks, rays, and tropical fish. The sharks are often the star attraction, but you’ll also find schools of colorful fish, sea turtles, and other fascinating creatures.

The dive itself is challenging, and it’s important to be an experienced diver to take on the Great Blue Hole. The depth and the currents can be challenging, and the dive site is often subject to unpredictable weather conditions. But with the right training and preparation, diving at the Great Blue Hole is a thrilling and unforgettable experience.

Planning Your Dive

To dive at the Great Blue Hole, you’ll need to be an experienced diver with a minimum certification of Advanced Open Water Diver or equivalent. You’ll also need to have logged a certain number of dives, depending on the dive operator you choose.

There are several dive operators in Belize that offer trips to the Great Blue Hole, and it’s important to choose a reputable operator with experienced guides and well-maintained equipment. It’s also a good idea to research the weather conditions and the best time of year to dive at the Great Blue Hole, as conditions can vary depending on the season.

In addition to diving at the Great Blue Hole, there are several other dive sites in the area that are worth exploring. Lighthouse Reef is home to several other sinkholes and coral formations, as well as a diverse range of marine life.


Diving at the Great Blue Hole is an experience like no other. The sinkhole’s unique geology and abundance of marine life make it a must-visit destination for experienced scuba divers. And while the dive itself can be challenging, the rewards are well worth it. If you’re looking for a thrilling and unforgettable dive experience, the Great Blue Hole should definitely be on your bucket list.

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